The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule to restructure many provisions regarding Medicaid managed care services. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the proposal is 653 pages. It is both an economically significant and major rule, with annualized costs exceeding $112 million.
Markets tanked yesterday, ostensibly over fears that the remarks of Chairwoman Janet Yellen put a rate increase back on the table. It is always a dangerous game to read the minds of millions of investors to conclude “the” cause of equity market fluctuations. But the chatter reinforced endless rehashing of the Fed’s 2015 policy over the past several months. Enough! When all is said and done:
Last month the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first estimate of the growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2015. According to the report, real GDP’s annualized growth rate was only a dismal 0.2 percent. So what exactly caused this slow growth in the first three months of the year? Some argue that this low estimate is due to an underlying methodological issue that results in a significant underestimate for the first quarter. However, several economic indicators have decelerated or declined over the last few months, indicating tepid growth in the first quarter. Given the questions surrounding the validity of the last GDP estimate, it is particularly important to examine economic metrics from a variety of sources and analyze their implications for growth.
Where I grew up in the Midwest, the landscape is filled with corn fields, punctuated by the even more distinct green of John Deere tractors. The iconic company has largely stayed out of the news, but this changed recently when it was reported that the manufacturer “told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors.” What the company actually argued is much less egregious than what is being portrayed in headlines, but it did reignite a debate over the future of innovation in America. Innovation in the 21st century requires community and collaboration, so manufacturers naturally walk a fine line with regard to legal positions and customer communications.
The housing bubble and crash were at the heart of the financial crisis and Great Recession. Logic would have dictated that large reforms to the flawed system of housing finance — notably the large government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-- would have followed. Politics and logic, however, live on separate planets so that is not what has transpired.
Total costs were modest this week, with $66 million in burdens, compared to $42 million in annualized costs and $334 million in benefits. Thanks to a Department of Education (ED) proposal, paperwork accelerated by more than 3.6 million hours. One Dodd-Frank proposal contained minor burdens.
You should be able to keep your financial adviser. Unfortunately, the Department of Labor's (DOL’s) recently proposed “fiduciary rule” threatens this option.
The American Action Forum (@AAF) and the American Action Network today released the results of a national survey examining public attitudes on the Department of Labor’s proposed regulation for financial advisers. Among the key findings, the survey found that Americans oppose the fiduciary regulation (50% to 28%), and are significantly less likely to support the proposed regulation when they hear about the personal impact this would have on middle class savers (73% less likely).
The American Action Forum and American Action Network commissioned a national survey on the financial adviser regulation issued by the Department of Labor. The national survey was conducted by On Message, Inc. The national survey found that:Americans oppose the fiduciary regulation (50% to 28%), and are significantly less likely to support the proposed regulation when they hear about the personal impact this would have on middle class savers (73% less likely). A strong majority (59% to 26%) doesn’t believe it’s the government’s job to decide what’s best for an individual’s personal retirement accounts. Americans believe the Department of Labor lacks the expertise and relevance of running individual Americans’ IRA’s (69% to 20%).
In his 2,312 days in office, President Obama’s administration has finalized 2,210 new regulations that impose a new compliance burden of $659.6 billion. That “One-a-Day” pace means that the regulatory burden has risen by an average of $285 million per day; $11 million per hour; $198,000 per minute; or $3,300 per second of his time in office. Put differently, the regulatory burden has risen by roughly $100 billion per year or $1 trillion over the 10-year budget window.